In January, half of our non-pledge Sunday offerings will go to Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles, the largest gang intervention, rehab, and re-entry effort in the world. Your donations will help support their 18-month employment program and much more.
Homeboy Industries provides hope, training, and support to formerly gang-involved and previously incarcerated men and women, allowing them to redirect their lives and become contributing members of our community. They offer a continuum of free services and programs, including social enterprises that serve as job-training sites, like bakeries, cafes, catering, and a variety of branded merchandise marts.
In 1986, when Homeboy Industries’ founder, Gregory Boyle became pastor of Dolores Mission Church, it was the poorest Catholic parish with the highest concentration of gang activity in Los Angeles. The parish included Aliso Village and Pico Gardens, which were the largest public housing projects west of the Mississippi. Law enforcement tactics of suppression, along with criminal justice policies of mass incarceration, were the prevailing means to deal with gang violence. Where others only saw criminals, Father Greg saw people in need of help.
“We work with the population that nobody desires to work with, and it’s a principle of this place that we stand with them.” —Father Gregory Boyle
Today, Homeboy Industries welcomes thousands through their doors each year. Over a hundred long-term volunteers make their mission possible, along with lawyers, teachers, therapists, social workers, and medical professionals who take time out of their busy schedules to offer their services pro bono. Homeboy Industries creates a positive ripple effect, not only around the city of Los Angeles, but in communities just like ours who gain a sense of purpose from giving and participating in this important cause.
Our practice here at UUSM is to dedicate half of our non-pledge Sunday offerings to support the life of our church, and the other half to organizations doing work in the world that advances our Unitarian Universalist principles.
Please consider supporting the mission of our church and Homeboy Industries this month. To give right now, text “$25 GCC” (or another amount) to 844-982-0209. (Your one-time-only credit card registration is required.) Or visit uusm.org/donate and reference Generous Congregation Contribution or GCC with your gift.